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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Your Roadmap to a Protected Future after Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can be incredibly stressful for anyone to go through. Once your matter has been closed, you may wonder what the next steps are. To ensure that you protect your remaining accounts and property as well as yourself and your loved ones, we encourage you to consider an estate plan as your roadmap into the future.



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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Bankruptcy’s Effects on Estate Planning

Bankruptcy may be one of the last things on your mind when you are creating an estate plan. Fortunately, the number of bankruptcy filings has declined over the past several years, but there were still a whopping 544,463 bankruptcy filings in 2020.[1] What happens to your estate if you file for bankruptcy protection but die while still in bankruptcy? What if one of your beneficiaries is in bankruptcy or is soon likely to be? None of us knows what the future holds, so you should consider these important issues in your estate plan, even if the possibility of bankruptcy seems far-fetched right now.



[1] Annual Bankruptcy Filings Fall 29.7 Percent, U.S. Courts (Mar. 5, 2021, 2021), https://www.uscourts.gov/news/2021/01/28/annual-bankruptcy-filings-fall-297-percent.



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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

QTIP Trust - Will My Spouse Get What They Need?

A qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust is an estate planning tool that married couples can use to minimize uncertainty about the future and maximize certain tax advantages. Since no one can predict how much they will own at the time of their death, which spouse will die first, whether the surviving spouse will remarry, or what the estate tax rate will be when they die, a QTIP trust can help deal with and minimize these uncertainties without the need for a crystal ball.



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Monday, January 10, 2022

Common Trusts: Parenting beyond the Grave

Parents strive to make their children feel equally valued as reflected in the fact that, when setting up an estate plan, parents typically divide their accounts and property equally among their children. But while parents strive to treat their children the same, they simultaneously acknowledge that children have different needs at different times. And these needs do not always correlate with perfectly equal dollar amounts.

Should something happen to you and your accounts and property pass to your minor children in equal shares, there may not be enough money for each individual child’s expenses. Almost certainly, one child will require more funds than another. Instead of simply dividing your accounts and property equally among your children, you can place accounts and property in what is known as a pot trust or common trust with instructions for your trustee on how to spend the money and property on behalf of all the beneficiaries.


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Friday, January 7, 2022

Pour-Over Will: Not Your Average Will

Wills and trusts are the two basic legal instruments that people use to pass accounts and property on to their loved ones at death. Although a revocable living trust is often used in place of a will, the two are not mutually exclusive. You can have both a will and a trust, and in fact, a special kind of will—known as a pour-over will—is commonly used alongside a living trust.

A pour-over will adds peace of mind to your trust-based estate plan. If you neglect to transfer any accounts and property into a living trust during your lifetime, or fail to designate the trust or anyone else as a beneficiary at your death, the pour-over will ensures that those assets end up in the trust after you die. If you do not set up a pour-over will to go along with a living trust, any money or property that does not pass to the trust or other beneficiaries at your death and therefore remains outside the trust at the time of your death could be treated as though you had died without a will and will pass to your heirs under the default laws of your state.



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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Are Family Limited Partnerships under Attack?

A popular estate planning tool that has long been used effectively may be facing new challenges under the current administration in Washington, DC. The family limited partnership (FLP) is an estate planning tool that allows families not only to transfer significant amounts of their wealth to succeeding generations while reducing estate, gift, and income tax liabilities but also to achieve several other important estate planning goals.



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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Should You Consider a Life Estate for Your Home?

A home is often one of the most valuable items of property that someone will ever own. When it comes to ensuring that your home passes to the individual or group that you intend, there are a variety of ways to legally make that happen. The life estate is a less commonly used method.



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Monday, December 13, 2021

Questions First Responders Must Consider to Best Protect Their Loved Ones

Thank you for all that you do for us. We understand that being the first one on the scene can come with many different risks. We are dedicated to protecting you and your loved ones from the different types of emergencies that may pop up during your life. The following are some important questions for you to consider that can help you prevent your own family emergency.



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Friday, December 3, 2021

Mental Health Considerations in Estate Planning

It is okay to not be okay. Removing the stigma of mental health starts with realizing that many people—about one in five of all US adults--are affected by mental illness. Understanding this fact can lead to more people getting the help they require, not only by seeking guidance from a mental health expert, but also by planning for the future with mental health considerations in mind.



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Monday, October 18, 2021

Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Beneficiaries’ Interests

A common misconception people have about life insurance is that they only need to designate their spouse, child, or loved one as the beneficiary of the policy to ensure that the life insurance benefits will be available to the beneficiary when they die. Life insurance is an important financial and estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there is no guarantee that your beneficiary will receive, or keep, the benefit from your insurance.



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Friday, October 15, 2021

Decanting: Redoing Your Loved One’s Estate Plan

In a constantly evolving world, having the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances is a valuable trait. But is flexibility less important in estate planning than in other areas of life? In many situations, you may not want your estate planning documents to be flexible after you have signed them. If your planning could be changed on a whim, there is a risk that your intent can be defeated by someone who does not understand or respect it.

 

This risk is the primary reason why, when a trustmaker dies, their revocable living trust becomes irrevocable and can no longer be amended. This trust feature is important for providing certainty to the trust administration process. Other types of trusts become irrevocable upon their creation to obtain certain tax or asset protection benefits available under the law. But what happens when, after a trust has become irrevocable, a situation arises that appears to undermine or conflict with your intent as the trustmaker? Are you stuck?

 

Thankfully, no. A variety of tools exists to help handle unforeseen circumstances that might have negative consequences. Decanting is one of them.



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Being Deployed? Here’s What You Need to Do
The Only Constant in Life is Change: When Circumstances Change, So Should Your Estate Plan
Beyond Wills and Trusts: 3 Documents Everyone Needs
Reconsider Outright Inheritances: How to Protect Your Heirs and Your Legacy from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences
Expand Your Cast to Prevent Chaos
Planning for Blended Families: Second or Later Marriages and Divorce of Beneficiaries
The Flexible Protection of Trust-Based Planning
Why “I Love You” Wills Really Don’t Say “I Love You”
Estate Plans for College Students and Other Young Adults: Why It’s the Perfect Time to Set Your Kids Up for Success
Your Guide to Better Incapacity Protection in Your Estate Plan
Are You Familiar With Community Property Trusts?: Learn How These Special Trusts Can Help Reduce Income Taxes
Modernizing an Outdated Estate Plan: What to do with a Confusing, Old Trust
Have You Considered a Dynasty Trust for Your Family’s Estate? Why You Should Think Twice Before Ruling One Out
What if you don’t die?: Why Ignoring the Importance of Incapacity Planning Can Have Serious Consequences
Don’t Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do Today: Why It’s Time to Talk with Your Family and Your Estate Planning Attorney
Who Will Inherit Your Financial Wisdom?: Passing on More Than Just Wealth
How Tax Reform Will Impact You and Your Estate Planning
Will My Debt Outlive Me?: Your Questions About Debt After Death Answered
Planning Your Summer Vacation?: 5 Things to Consider Now
Talk to Your Family over the Holidays about Your Estate Plan
12 Crucial Insights for Protecting Your Furry Family Members
Does Your Family Know About Your Estate Plan?: A Guide for How Much to Share and With Whom
Planning for the Financial Future of a Troubled Adult Child: Your 3-Step Guide to Creating an Informed Estate Plan
Keeping the Peace After You Are Gone: Planning With an Aim Towards Building Unity
Have You Taken Advantage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Planning Window?: Important Estate Planning Tips You Should Act on Now
Back-To-School Preparation: Not Just About the School Supplies- Use This Time to Revisit The Parts of Your Estate Plan That Impact Your Children Most
What Do the New 199A Regulations Mean for You?: New Choices and Opportunities for Tax Savings
Three Legal Strategies When Facing a Major Health Event: What You and Your Family Need to Know
How to Protect Your Retirement Account
2018 Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean For Your Estate Plan?: Strategic Planning Guidance in Light of the Midterm Results
Estate Planning Projects to Tackle in the New Year
Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians You Can Use Too
June
3 Estate Planning Secrets the Wealthy Use That You Can Too!: Strategies to Enhance Your Success
Five Key Considerations for Your Estate Plan
Your Personal Property Memorandum: 4 Tips for Success
How to Coordinate Your Retirement and Estate Plans
How to Avoid a Disastrous Will or Trust Contest
Is Your Estate Plan Probate-Proof?
Want a Greater Sense of Purpose? Plan Your Legacy
What is Asset Protection and Do I Need It?
Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan Is Set Up to Fail
Your Vacation Checklist
Estate Plans for College Students and Other Young Adults: Why It’s the Perfect Time to Set Your Kids Up for Success
Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?
Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences
Estate Planning Is Not Just About Money
Is Your Estate Plan Unfinished? Don’t Wait to Complete This Important Process!
When Equal Is Not Necessarily Fair
Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving
One Year After the Historic 2016 Election: Strategic Estate Planning in Uncertain Times
Funding Your Revocable Living Trust to Avoid Probate
4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest
The Harmonious Family that Won't Fight
3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now
Estate Planning for Rental Property Owners
Estate Planning is More Than Just Death Planning
The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits
Loan, Gift, or Advancement: Why the Classification Matters
What to Bring to Your First Meeting with the Estate Planning Attorney
April
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2018
September
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Not Married? You’re not alone - but you still need a plan. Estate Planning for People Living Together, Bachelors, and Bachelorettes
Are Your Documents Following the Same Script? Basics of Beneficiary Forms and Estate Planning
A Trust for Fluffy or Fido? Why Every Pet Parent Needs to Consider a Pet Trust Today
Roth IRA Conversions After Tax Reform...Still a good idea? What are the implications for your family if you don’t spend all the money?
Estate Planning When Not All of Your Kids are in the Family Business
Beneficiary Designations and a Blended Family: Why You Need to Think Before You Sign
The One Thing Every New Grandparent MUST Do As Soon as Possible
How to Fix 5 Common Estate Planning Problems
How to Leave Your Life Insurance and Retirement Plan to Your Minor Children
Financial Planning. Tax Planning. Legacy Planning. Estate Planning - How many plans do I need?!
Why Not Just Go on NoloⓇ and Create Your Own Estate Planning Documents Cheaply?
3 Things You Must Do Once Your Divorce Is Final
Protecting Your Children’s Inheritance When You are Divorced
Finding the Right Fit: Questions For Prospective Wills and Trusts Attorneys
The Biggest Threat to Successful Estate Planning
Steps For Starting the End-of-Life Conversation
Joint Tenancy Pitfalls: The ‘Simple’ Fix that Can Leave Your Family Broke
One Call You Must Make After You Buy a Home-That You’ve Probably Forgotten
3 Tips For Every New Homeowner
Declare your Independence from Court Interference!
What To Do With Your Beloved Collection
Legal Considerations When Getting Your New College Student Ready to Go
Digital Afterlife- An Estate Plan For Your Facebook Account
How an Estate Planning Letter of Intent Can Help Your Family
Kids and Investors Are Not the Only Options
Retirement Planning for Business Owners
Passing Along a Benefit, Not a Burden - Why Incapacity Planning for Business Owners is an Indispensable Component of Your Plan
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2017
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Updating Your Revocable Trust: How Many “Tweaks” Are Too Many?
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs are Not Protected from Creditors
4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest
Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians Anyone Can Use
Three Estate Planning Mistakes Farmers and Ranchers Make and How to Avoid Them
The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes
The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits
The Tragic Loss of Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin: Lessons for Estate and Legacy Planning
The Three-Year Review and The Three-Year Plan
The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning
The Pros and Cons of Probate
The Perils of Promises...Marlon Brando’s Story
The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)
The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)
The IRS Took Half of Tony Soprano’s Estate: Don’t Fall into the Same Trap!
The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning
Surprise! You Can’t Easily Disinherit Your Spouse in the U.S.
Stress Test Your Estate Plan
Sonny Bono’s Procrastination in Creating a Will Led to Years of Estate Battles
Skyrocketing Probate Fees – Another Reason to Avoid Probate Court
Revocable Trust vs. Irrevocable Trust: Which Is Best for You?
Prince’s Sad and Incredibly Expensive Mistake! (Are You Making It, Too?)
3 Powers to Consider Giving to a Trust Protector
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will: 3 Critical Mistakes
Parental Warning: If You Own Your Property this Way, You May Accidentally Disinherit Your Own Children
Over 70% of Elvis Presley’s Estate Paid in Taxes & Fees: How Can You Avoid the Same Trap?
Nosey Neighbor Nellie Can Find Out About Your Probate. Really.
Michael Jackson’s Estate Pulled into Seemingly Endless Probate Court Battles
Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving
Is Your Estate Plan as Stale as Last Week’s Ham Sandwich? 5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan
March
Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?
Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?
Irrevocable Trust Decanting in 4 Steps
IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request
Investment, Insurance, Annuity, and Retirement Planning Considerations
If You Die Without a Will, Does Your Spouse Inherit Your Entire Estate?
How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney
How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax with Portability
How to Minimize Legal Fees After Death
HELP! This Probate Is Taking Forever!!!
Four Steps to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person
Five Things You Need to Know About the Recently ABLE Act
Flo Jo’s Tragic Mistake: A Missing Will
5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee
Financial Firms Roll Out Form Aimed at Stopping Financial Elder Abuse
5 Reasons to Embrace Estate Planning
Estate Planning: 3 Reasons We Run the Other Way
Estate Planning Basics for Newlyweds – How to Get Prepared for the Unexpected
Escape From a Bad Trust: 5 Strong Reasons to Decant Your Trust
Doris Duke’s Trustee Bilked Estate for $1M: How Well Do You Know Yours?
Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You
Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?
Who’s Going to Get It: Do You Really Know the Beneficiaries of Your Dynasty Trust?
Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths
Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries From Bad Decisions and Outside Influences
Did you include your grandkids in your will? 5 Tips to Avoid Common Problems
Did Whitney Houston Leave Too Much Money To Bobbi Kristina?
Dennis Hopper Saves Heirs with Last Minute Estate Plan Changes
Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age
Avoiding Guardianship When you are Incapacitated
Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age
Who Should I Choose as a Successor Trustee
Celebrities Who Failed To Recognize Unborn Children in Their Wills: A Teachable Lesson
February
Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan is Set Up to Fail
How to Choose a Trustee
Name a Guardian for Your Child
Caution: Creditors Now Have Easy Access to Inherited IRAs
Big Bang Theory Star’s “Ironclad” Prenup Challenged: How Does Yours Compare?
Will Your Family Be Able to Find Your Original Last Will?
Ways to Avoid Court Proceedings
Are Handwritten Intentions Enforceable? Princess Diana Thought So…
An Estate Planning Checklist to Facilitate Wealth Transfer
Aging.gov: A New Resource for Older Americans and Their Families
AB Trusts – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?
A Powerful Exercise to Surface the Values You Want to Pass on to the Next Generation
10 Types of Trusts: A Quick Look
5 Tragic Mistakes People Make When Leaving Assets to Their Pets
5 Things Every New Mother Needs to Know About Wills
New Legislation Could Mean the End of Estate and GSTT Taxes What This Means for You and Your Family
5 Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts Now
5 Mistakes Made by Successor Trustees (and How to Prevent Them)
5 Good Reasons to Decant a Trust
3 Ways to Minimize Estate Planning Fees
3 Tips for Overwhelmed Executors
3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs
3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
AB Trusts – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?
How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney
Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment
Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.
Why Your Estate Planning Project Must Morph into a Process
Estate Planning Tips for Commitment Without Marraige
3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons
3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can – and Should – Be Modified
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